The Internet has responded collaboratively to the lack of trust in official pronouncements about radiation levels in Japan. First, Shigeru Kobayashi aggregated geiger counter readings from around Japan. Then Haiyan Zhang, self-described interaction designer, technologist and maker of things, produced a Google maps mashup of Kobayashi’s data.
Click this image to view the actual interactive map.
Alexis Madrigal comments:
One of the key problems has been that people aren’t sure whether to trust the official measurements, no matter how many of them there are. Today, sociologist Zeynep Tufekci addressed the issue of lack of trust in institutions in her essay, “If We Built a Safer Nuclear Reactor, How Would We Know?”
I think I may have seen the beginnings of a way to build that trust in this crowdsourced map of Geiger counter readings from around Japan. It’s one thing to blindly trust the experts. It’s quite another to doublecheck them with a distributed network of 215 Geiger counters — forcing them to earn that trust.
This is DIY science with purpose.